Wait, what? We couldn’t even get to pre-orders before the ‘reports’ started surfacing how the leap in technology in the iPhone X will ultimately kill the iPhone line altogether.
UBS analysts Steve Milunovich and Benjamin Wilson released a note to their clients for the week pointing to Face ID as the tech that will ultimately kill the iPhone.
“History suggests that few if any hardware vendors stay at the top for long with the ‘good enough’ attack from below the main reason,” the analysts wrote. “However, we think that Apple could become a leader in developing the Ambient Paradigm, essentially raising the bar on user experience and fending off competition.”
Easy fellas. I know it’s Friday, and you drank the kool-aid at the altar of Apple (I love Apple products too), but that’s a bit much.
What is the Ambient Paradigm?
Remember the movie Minority Report? All the devices in the film would instantly recognize you via facial biometrics that makes FaceID look like a bad CGI trick for a Syfy movie. In this type of world, we wouldn’t need passwords – bet Equifax wished that existed – nor personal computers such as smartphones.
Wait a minute. Tom Cruise had some badass gloves to manipulate the screen around him and relied on specialized cue balls coming through a bank teller’s cylinder to figure out who is about to be killed. Run Tom!
In the shift, the smartphone will die as there will be shared computers all around us that will instantly respond to our wearables like headphones or watches.
Let’s send it back to UBS. “Apple has a philosophy of self-cannibalization and identifying personal technology trends. It appears to be laying the foundation for the next era with transition products, such as Apple Watch and AirPods, and services provided by a multi-sided platform. We expect new product categories to be launched.”
So, Apple is going to cannibalize its money ticket in favor of an Apple Watch and AirPods? Yeah, that’s not happening if Tim Cook still wants a job. I’ll take interacting with my iMac like the Minority Report, but having to hold my arms up all day? Pass.
Is iPhone X Revolutionary?
Simply put, no. It’s a first generation device that seeks to return Apple’s smartphone to a status symbol. There’s no real advancement here except for the speed of their custom-made chips thanks to the tight integration of iOS. Its ‘revolutionary design’ has a damn notch to hold all the ‘tech’ that will get us into the future of Tom Cruise. Love Tom Cruise movies. Not so sure I want to live in that future.
Facial recognition isn’t new. Samsung has been doing it to varying degrees of success. Judging by Apple’s demo, it screams growing pains ahead. Only one face can be stored at launch, and you have to stare at the screen to unlock it. We all thought people were distracted before. Had TouchID been technologically feasible under the OLED screen, you’re damn right Apple would have it as the standard still.
And remember back to the conference. What had more demo time? Our ‘Minority Report’ future, or the fact We can be a talking panda, chicken or pile of shit. Sorry UBS, it’s cool to dream, but Apple getting rid of its profit to focus on cheaper items like the watch or AirPods. They just passed Rolex, which should be a damn given considering Rolex is a luxury good.
Think of it as the flying car complex. Sounds cool in theory until you remember your neighbor parks like they had a stroke just as they pulled in. Are we willing to trust them behind the controls of a plane? Nah.
Let’s focus on the small wins first. Maybe a phone that doesn’t drop calls while you’re staring at four cell towers. Perhaps design decisions which aren’t instantly annoying when we flip our phone into landscape mode (the notch). And being honest with ourselves in saying it’s still a damn phone. The watch just now has LTE connectivity.
I love all my Apple products too, but thinking the iPhone X will usher in the world of Minority Report? It’s not even out, and there are zero hands on outside the temple of Apple. Might want to see it working outside a controlled environment first. Just a thought.